Bloomington’s mayor says he hopes to increase the city’s livability for its senior population. But one of the mayor’s May challengers says the plan smacks of missed opportunities.
The mayor plans to compile a senior needs assessment, which will outline how older Bloomingtonians could be better served in areas such as transportation, healthcare and housing. Kruzan said he hopes to use a portion of a 12-acre land purchase near city hall to build more senior housing in downtown Bloomington.
“We’ve already seen, in talking to IU Institute on Aging, an interest in the 12 acres,” Kruzan said. “Certainly we’ve seen it exists on the near west side neighborhood. There are still longtime residents living there.”
Kruzan said he understands the city’s downtown is currently seen as a market for IU students seeking primarily upscale apartment and condominium living, but said he believes city planners can mitigate what he calls a potential “glut” of student housing.
A spokesman for Kruzan’s primary election challenger, John Hamilton, issued a statement Monday pointing out Kruzan had promised advances in senior living prior to the mayor’s first election in 2003. In a statement, Hamilton criticized Kruzan for “holding press conferences in the month before an election,” but not “following through on specific plans.”